The Art of Per­cep­tion - What CI Pro­fes­sio­nals Can Learn from Art

This presentation makes use of Art, paintings and photographs to illustrate that “the art of seeing has to be learned”. The practice of viewing Art can help open our eyes to seeing and noticing better, and so enable us to overcome blindspots or detect anomalies. Art can bring people, objects, or situations to our attention, helping make us more insightful into what we see. Specifically, looking at Art can help us notice better, attend to detail, the periphery, subtexts, what may be implied or hidden, and also what is neglected, forgotten or excluded, as well as what’s outside (or inside) the picture ‘frame’ – and indeed, awareness of the frame itself. All these are skills that can make a considerable difference to our professional CI activities.

Competitive Intelligence practitioners, national or military Intelligence personnel, law enforcement officers, and even nurses, can all benefit from training in the art of observation. Just as everything said is said by someone, so too, everything seen is (ultimately) seen by someone. How and what we see and notice, and what we don’t, are critical. We see to make sense of the world around us; adapting this to CI, we can say that we conduct CI to make sense of the business world around us. A better understanding of how to look at Art can help succeed in this venture.

Key topics

  • change how you look at and attend to the world, focus, de-focus, frame and categorize
  • learn how to notice with ‘new’ eyes
  • learn how a greater appreciation of Art and Art History can help our attentiveness in CI

Speaker profile

Dr. Michael Neugarten worked for many years as a Competitive Intelligence manager at Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), Israel's largest aviation and aerospace company. He has a BSc in Physics from Southampton University, an MSc in Applied Optics from Reading University, an MBA from Henley Management College, all in the UK; and a doctorate in Business Administration from St Gallen in Switzerland, where he built on his past as an optical engineer to look at aspects of seeing and noticing as applied to CI. Michael has also taught CI to many MBA students: at Henley Management College and City University’s Cass Business School in the UK; at ESCP-EAP in Paris; and at the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, Tel Aviv University, and The College of Management, in Israel. He has published in the AGSI Journal, SCIP's JCIM, and Futures, and presented and given workshops at many CI conferences in Europe and Israel.